Green Mountain National Forest has partnered with the Alliance to get a federal watershed grant of $55,000 to be dedicated to habitat restoration in long sections of Roaring Branch along Kelly Stand Road that were damaged by Irene flooding or affected by the resulting essential road repairs. The Orvis Company has generously added $15,000.
Together these funds will allow us to invest in better stone streambed structure & better stability for the Branch. This project will create better trout habitat, & also be better for people, property, & roads.
Irene flooding & essential road repairs resulted in sections without enough stone structure within the streambed for trout habitat, & with a straight channelized bed that creates a fire hose of erosive current in high water. The Branch would naturally have many large boulders that the variations of stream flows would form into the cover & shelter, & the pools, riffles, & waterfalls, that constitute good trout habitat.
The restoration will involve installation of stones as structures & as elements for the Branch to move around as it creates pools & cobble deposits, with assorted rock sizes structuring the water flow. This is better habitat. It also lessens the chance of erosion, massive debris jams, & channel cutting because the water velocity is slowed intermittently, rather than a fire hose of water driving downstream.
The photos above show two channelized sections of Roaring Branch with boulders removed for use in Kelly Stand Road, and a different section with many big boulders as would usually be present in the stream.